Manu Park, Matsiguenka Lodge and the Macaw Lick of Blanquillo
Our Manu Biosphere & Macaw Lick Adventure is a real treat for all nature lovers: Watch out for monkeys on the forest trails, spot giant otters and rare birds from a raft on Lake Salvador, look out for caimans, jaguars, capybaras and side neck turtles on the Manu River, interact with the members of the Matsiguenka tribe, our hosts inside the park. At the end of the journey, we will visit one of the largest macaw salt licks on the Madre de Dios river – one of the most amazing birding experiences in the world. Everyday parrots and macaws congregate here to obtain mineral-rich clay to help their digestion. This journey ends in Puerto Maldonado.
We leave Cusco very early and journey through lonely highland scenery and isolated Quechua communities to the pass of Acjanaco, entry point of Manu National Park. After stretching our legs and looking at the typical paramo flora we begin our descent into the cloud forest, enjoying marvelous sceneries on the way. On the way, we look out for typical birds like colorful tanagers, Jaybirds, toucanets and Guans, and exotic butterflies. In the afternoon we reach our lodge in the cloud forest where we will spend the night. We will also visit a lek where the male Andean Cock-of-the-Rocks congregate each morning and afternoon in order to display for the females. Full board.
Observe the birds in the lodge gardens over a cup of freshly brewed coffee with first light. Colorful hummingbirds, tanagers, Jay birds, motmots and some more cock-of-the-rocks are frequent visitors at the Lodge. Explore a multitude of flowering orchids in the garden. After breakfast and a refreshing dip in the pristine mountain river, we continue our journey overland to Atalaya from where a motorized dugout canoe will take us a little along the river to our Lodge. Full board.
We rise early to watch a multitude of birds in the Lodge gardens: colorful parrots, macaws, araçaris, woodpeckers, tanagers, caciques, and oropendolas as well as hummingbirds. After breakfast, we climb a trail leading into the montane forest and to a watchtower affording splendid views over the river and the Lodge below. Perhaps we may spot some squirrel cuckoos, cotingas, tityras, flower piercers or more Tanagers. In the afternoon we explore some lowland trails around the Lodge. With a little luck, we may surprise some monkeys, toucans, guans, caracaras, tinamous or perhaps some agouti or capybara. At a small oxbow Lake, you may be able to watch the prehistoric looking Hoatzin, egrets, herons, kingfishers, raptors and perhaps you may even sight black caimans. We also watch out for different monkey species: squirrel monkeys, dusky titi monkeys, and capuchin monkeys. After dark, we may go on a short night walk in order to spot amphibians and insects or surprise some night monkeys. Full board.
Today we board our motorized dugout canoe and travel down the Upper Madre de Dios River for several hours, up to the confluence with the Manu River. After a brief visit to the settlement of Boca Manu, where you may stock up on snacks, batteries and other items and enjoy a refreshing cold drink, we settle into our Lodge on the Madre de Dios for the night. Full board.
As soon as it gets light we begin our journey up the Manu River. This increases our chance for sightings of the rich fauna, like black and white caimans, side-neck turtles, different species of monkeys, capybaras, jabirus and wood storks, black skimmers, sand-colored nighthawks and many other animals. We arrive at our Lodge, run by the Matsiguenka tribe in the afternoon. Hopefully, we still have time for the first visit to Lake Salvador, one of the oxbow lakes deep inside the Park, which has a resident group of giant otters, as well as black caimans, neotropical cormorants, Muscovy ducks, green ibises to name a few. Overnight at the Casa Matsiguenka. Full board.
Awake to the exotic sounds of the forest, including perhaps the roar of the red howler monkeys. This morning we return to Lake Salvador where we will paddle on a catamaran to get a closer look at the exuberant wildlife there. Hopefully, we may observe the giant otters fishing, eating or playing from a short distance. You may also get sightings of horned screamers, hoatzins, limpkins, capped herons, wattled jacanas, purple gallinules and the rare and shy Agami Heron. Later we shall walk the trails to look for spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys or tamarins. Overnight at the Casa Matsiguenka. Full board.
A short journey downriver takes us to the entrance to Lake Otorongo, another oxbow lake, where we have another chance to watch giant otters from a watchtower. With a little luck, we might see a group of woolly monkeys or other monkey species. We will spend the rest of the day exploring different trails learning about the ecology of the forest and the uses of medicinal plants. In the afternoon we have some fun with the Matsiguenka engaging in arrow shooting contest with them (the target will be a papaya). Later there will be time for intercultural exchange over some popcorn and a cup of tea. Overnight at the Casa Matsiguenka. Full board.
Today we begin our return journey down the Manu River. Hopefully, we will spot more typical river animals like caimans, capybaras or roseate spoonbills or groups of monkeys in the vegetation on the shore. If lucky we may even spot a jaguar, an anteater or tapir! We spend the night at a Lodge on Madre de Dios River. If time allows we may explore the trails there and look out for more red howler monkeys and other animals. Full board.
We rise before dawn and go by boat to the macaw salt lick where on a good day hundreds of colorful parrots and macaws descend in order to obtain the mineral-rich clay that aids them in their digestion. The afternoon will be spent with leisurely walks on the trails of our Lodge. Full board.
Today we travel by river to Laberinto where we will board a vehicle to take us to the buzzing jungle town of Puerto Maldonado by road. We spend the night in a Lodge with beautiful gardens on the outskirts of the town. Full board.
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Lima or Cusco. B End of all services.
- 10 nights in rustic Rainforest Lodges (some with private bathrooms)
- Private land transport Cusco – Atalaya
- Private motorized dugout canoe.
- All meals as stated in the itinerary
- Drinking water
- Entry fees to Manu National Park
- Entry fee to the lek of the Andean-cock-of-rock and the macaw salt lick
- All excursions as described in the itinerary
- Bilingual naturalist guide
- flight out from Puerto Maldonado to Lima or Cusco
- Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
- Extras not included in the itinerary
- Tips and gratuities
Prices in USD per person:
1 person USD 8.660.-
2 people USD 4,950.-
3 people USD 3,820.-
4 people USD 3,185.-Jaguar - Andean Spirit DestinationsEmerald Boa - Andean Spirit DestinationsWhite Caiman - Andean Spirit DestinationsCocoi Heron - Andean Spirit DestinationsHappy Trekkers in Manu - Andean SpiritGiant Otters in Manu - Andean SpiritCasa Matsiguenka - Andean Spirit DestinationsMacaw Salt Lick - Andean Spirit Destinations